Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: Creative Trades: Bargaining, Bartering, Swapping, and Re-using

Doctor Faustus - (ISBN: 978-0451531612)

by Christopher Marlow

This is the classic tale, first conceived by Goethe, of a man who sells his soul to the devil. He believes he is getting limitless magic and endless knowledge. If you’ve ever wondered where the expression comes from, “sell your soul to the devil,” this is it. He gets some unexpected and dire results.

Fantastic Recycled Plastic: 30 Clever Creations to Spark Your Imagination - (ISBN: 978-1600593420)

by David and Robin Edgar

This family-friendly craft book has suggestions of ways to creatively reuse plastic, with projects ranging from very simple to more complex. Even your youngest children will find something they can make following these directions with something you have around the house!

Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0 - (ISBN: 978-0312428921)

by Thomas L. Friedman

Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman argues for sustainable use of our resources in this book. He traces our failure to reuse and conserve and its relationship to the financial crises of the current age. Ask a grandparent or older family member how they used to reuse rags, discarded items, and broken-down pieces of household furniture.

Needful Things - (ISBN: 978-0451172815)

by Stephen King

The thrift shop owner in a small Maine town offers more than used goods; he can help everyone get what they <b>think</b> they want or need. Things go wrong, however, as you might expect in a Stephen King book. The patrons become more aggressive, selfish, and even evil as the desired object makes them less than human. Soon the entire town is nightmare laden; its citizens have gone mad. If you love horror stories, this is King at his best.

One Red Paperclip: Or How an Ordinary Man Achieved his Dreams with the Help of a Simple Office Supply - (ISBN: 978-0307353160)

by Kyle MacDonald

Enjoy this non-fiction account of a man who had only a paperclip and began trading it for something bigger, and then something bigger yet. His goal was to be able to provide his girlfriend with a better life. Soon he became a homeowner. What object in your life would you be willing to part with to help you realize your dreams? How can you convince others of its value?

A Dirty Job - (ISBN: 978-0060590284)

by Christopher Moore

Bargains in the Real World: Thirteen Stories - (ISBN: 978-0679463290)

by Elizabeth Cox

Faust: a Tragedy, Translated from the German of Goethe - (ISBN: B0043VDZF4)

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Complete Curious Mr. Tarrant - (ISBN: 978-1932009057)

by C. Daly King

Trespassers Will Be Baptized: The Unordained Memoir of a South Baptist Preacher’s Daughter - (ISBN: 9781599957081)

by Elizabeth Hancock

Activities for this Theme

Compare the Marlowe and Goethe versions of Faust from More Books in this age group.


Enjoy the online video The Story of Stuff. What changes does it inspire you to make in your life?


Ask your local bookstore, coffee shop, or library to start a free paperback book swap. Or ask your school PTA/PTO to start a children’s book swap.


Find ideas for where to get free or cheap kids' books